quiscula

Carib word Quisqueya mother of all lands, for the island of Hispaniola (Philpott 1998); ex “Black Bee-eater” of Brown 1725, and “Purple Jack Daw” of Catesby 1731 (cf. L. quis, what; qualis, of what kind). Newton in Coues 1882, remarked, “I cannot find this word or any thing like it in any older author ... [Linnaeus] did not invent names. From his printing the word...with a capital initial letter, it is obvious that he regarded it as a substantive, and I should think he must have found it in some book of travels as the local name of a bird. The word seems to me Spanish or quasi-Spanish – say Creole – and the regular Castilian quisquilla, which dictionaries explain to be a trifling dispute, suggests a meaning, especially when one reads of the noisy and fussy bickerings of your Boat-tails.” Later, however (Newton & Gadow 1896), he believed it to be, “from the Low Latin Quiscula or Quisquilla, which like Quaquila are supposed to be renderings of Quagila or some such word, and to mean Quail.” Capponi 1979, gives L. quacula, quaquara, and quaquila as names for the quail, but indicates that quisquilla has been variously identified as a quail, a lapwing, or a crake (cf. "Coturnix ... La femelle a un cri que tout le monde connoît cascailla, cascailla, cascailla, qu'elle répète plusieurs fois de suite pour rappeller son mâle" (Bonnaterre 1823)) (Quiscalus).

Search for more names on the Key to Scientific Names in Ornithology by James A. Jobling.
Recommended citation
Jobling, J. A. (2019). Key to Scientific Names in Ornithology. In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.) (2019). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from www.hbw.com on 19 January 2019).